Alexander McKay – New Zealand’s first scientific photographer
The Friends of the Turnbull Library supports the work of the Alexander Turnbull Library, and promotes public interest in the Library’s collections. The Friends of the Turnbull Library
- Date: Thursday, 20 September, 2018
5:30pm to 6:30pm
Free. You don't have to book.
Te Ahumairangi (ground floor), National Library, corner Molesworth and Aitken Streets, Thorndon
- Contact Details:
Explorer, fossil collector, geologist, photographer, and inventor Alexander McKay was a man of many talents. Simon Nathan — himself a geologist will talk about McKay’s life and work at this Friends of the Turnbull Library event.
Fossil collector and geologist
Simon Nathan has researched the life of Alexander McKay (1841-1917) who explored many parts of New Zealand while working as a fossil collector and geologist for the New Zealand government between 1873 and 1902.
Alexander McKay was also a keen amateur photographer, capturing geological features and documenting the impact of the 1888 and 1902 Canterbury earthquakes.
Invented a telephoto lens
He invented a telephoto lens in about 1890, and later developed techniques for photographing fossils and microscopic thin sections of rocks. All of McKay’s varied photographic work was aimed at illustrating the scientific work he was undertaking.
About the speaker
Simon Nathan, science historian and biographer of Wellington — himself a geologist — is an excellent speaker. Don’t miss this public talk.